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I have a felony conviction that is preventing me from finding employment. What can I do about this?

Friday June 22, 2012
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Dear Nancy,

I have a felony conviction from years ago that has been expunged from my record. However, it does show up in an FBI search, because those records are not able to be expunged. This conviction is preventing me from becoming employed. Is there anything I can do about this, and what can I tell potential employers?


Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Matthew,

You might want to hire the services of a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who can help you with the specific steps you might be able to take to obtain employment, despite the conviction. For example, there may be a state statute that allows you to obtain a waiver from not being able to be hired if you have a record of a conviction. Such statutes do have specific procedures and some do not allow a waiver of certain felonies, so only your attorney can help you with the application of such a statute.

Additionally, your attorney will discuss with you how to handle this conviction with a potential employer, assuming there is no prohibition to you getting a job with a criminal history.

It is assumed you are a nurse and it is fortunate that you still have your license. Some states prohibit the licensing of an individual when there is a history of criminal convictions of any kind.


Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.